Larrivee OM-04 Reviews 5

I bought my precious at Apple Row Music in Portland, Oregon for $1100 w/hsc. It has a Sitka Spruce top, mahogany basck & sides, ebony fretboard, ivoroid(plastic) binding. The OM-04, from what I understand, is the same as an 03, except it has gloss finish instead of satin. I spent hours, including a break for lunch, trying various guitars, and it came down to two LarrivŽe's, the OM-04, and a cutaway 03. Another guy bought the 03 before I decided, so my decision was simplified! While at a Slack-Key guitar workshop on Maui in 2002, I heard a friends LarrivŽe Parlor and was amazed at how full and sweet it sounded for such a small instrument, or for any size instrument for that matter! So I knew I was going to have a listen to Larrives. I tried Martins, Guilds, Takamines and nothing grabbed me like the LarrivŽe's did. I've owned it for three months now, and I play only Hawai'ian-style Slack-Key on it. I like the orchestra model for it's size, balance of tone and lack of boominess. I now own two other LarrivŽe's, an OM-09E, and an OM-50, which I'll review after I'm more familiar with them.

I am drawn to Larrive's for a few reasons. One, I like the balanced, warm tone, without boomy bass. Two, the natural beauty of the wood, which is enhanced by the understated finishing, without flash. Three, The attention to detail on the finish, joints is superb. Four, They all sound good, and you pay for the flash only if you need/want and can afford it. Five, they stay in tune very well. The tuners are rock-solid.

When I first got it, the frets protruded a bit, as if they hadn't been finished properly, and I thought I'd slice a finger open. I ran a thick cloth over it to remove any spurs, and that seemed to do it, but I shouldn't have had to do that. I now think humidity changes might have caused the protruding frets, but that's a guess. That's my ONLY nay-saying about this guitar. OK, I thought of something else! After having the OM-04 a while, I'd wished I had gotten a wider fingerboard as i have large hands, but those come only on the 05 and up models, so were out of my price range at the time.

This is a solid-wood guitar, as are all the Larrive's. It seems very solid, yet is very light-weight. The seams are all tight, no glue blobs anywhere. I give them an excellent quality rating, and I expect this guitar to be a family heirloom long after I'm gone.

I am going to have a hard time breaking-out of my Larrive rut. As ruts go, it's a lovely rut to be in. I do see a guild in my future though, and more Larrive's. I would not hesitate to buy a Larrive. I am completely satisfied with my purchase.

Rossasaurus rated this unit 5 on 2002-10-03.

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